Pakistan: Rape and murder of 6 year-old girl shames the nation Print E-mail
 Pakistan -- Friday, May 05, 2006, Rabi-us-sani 6, 1427 A.H.

Rape of a minor girl

Another case of rape and murder of a minor girl has come to the fore -- this time of a six-year-old girl, Shamim, who was raped and killed in the Ratta Amraal area of Rawalpindi on Tuesday night. This shocking and shameful incident has once again underlined the need for the society to have strict laws to fight this crime and to accord maximum punishment to the perpetrators.

With there being a dramatic rise in such gruesome incidents, maybe because the media is focusing more on them and also because of a change in people's attitude whereby sexual assault and sexual violence are no more the lesser-reported crimes they used to be, there is a strong need for concerted and determined action on this front. One reason why rape continues unabated is because we are not giving adequate punishment to rapists and other violent criminals.

The mere expression of indignation at the occurrence of such incidents is not enough. All concerned citizens must come out strongly against such crimes against humanity and compel the government to not only increase the punishment for the culprits but also come up with ways to prevent the occurrence of such crimes. They are a blur on the face of an Islamic society like ours and of course also a source of embarrassment for the nation internationally.

As for the unfortunate family of the victim, the arrest of the rapist within 12 hours of the incident and compensation by the state was very small consolation for them. It will not be able to help them in getting over the psychological trauma of the harrowing incident. The civil society should take it upon itself to provide them with proper counselling and therapy to get over the grief and loss and make a new start in life.